The One and Only Reason People Buy Healthcare. (What Are You Selling?)

success is selling happinessEvery day we see a sign for “Oral Surgery” or read a healthcare advertising headline that is mainly the physician’s or hospital’s name. Unfortunately for the marketing budget, it’s not advertising…it’s a failure to communicate. Whatever the intent, the medical marketing message missed its mark.

The fundamental truth here is that no one goes shopping to buy “a surgery,” or a medical treatment. People go shopping for some greater well-being for themselves. It sounds obvious, but it’s a common mistake in healthcare marketing for the physician practice, medical group, hospital or healthcare entity to want to advertise or promote what they do (urologic surgery, perhaps) or how they do it (robotic surgery, for example).

Although these things can play a part in a persuasive message, the prospective patient’s primary need—and the answer to the patient’s need—is understood in human terms, not medical terms. It is the result, not the means, which is most important to the prospective patient. People purchase healthcare services to realize one or more life-improvement benefits. The list includes pain relief, productivity, abilities, confidence, appearance, personal relationships and peace of mind.

In a word, what the patient is buying is happiness. It’s the one and only reason people buy healthcare.

Now ask yourself, what are you really selling? To find your marketing edge, your effective advertising message or the essence of your unique selling proposition (USP), look first to what the patient or customer wants to buy.

Translate the features (experienced practitioner, latest technology) into benefits (fast recovery, improved appearance). How will the prospective patient benefit, what are the tangible or intangible results that patients might realize, and how do you quantify these benefits?

Read more about patient-centered benefits and how to create a differentiating brand on the Healthcare Success website. And to bring your healthcare marketing and advertising effort into focus and build your bottom line, here’s how we can help.

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer & Creative Director at Healthcare Success
Over the years Stewart has personally marketed and consulted for over 1,457 healthcare clients, ranging from private practices to multi-billion dollar corporations. Additionally, he has marketed a variety of America’s leading companies, including Citicorp, J. Walter Thompson, Grubb & Ellis, Bally Total Fitness, Wells Fargo and Chase Manhattan. Stewart co-founded our company, and today acts as Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director. He is also a frequent author and speaker on the topic of healthcare marketing. His personal accomplishments are supported by a loving wife and two beautiful daughters.

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“Despite practicing in a hyper-competitive market, our new-patient counts are double what they were for the same time period last year. Hiring Healthcare Success was one of the best business decisions I have ever made.”


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